FUNGAL COMPOSITION AND PROXIMATE ANALYSIS OF POULTRY FEEDS SOLD IN BENIN CITY, NIGERIA
Poultry farming contributes significantly to poverty alleviation by providing employment opportunities to Nigerians. Feed quality is the most prominent challenge of the poultry sector. This study was aimed at assessing the fungal and proximate qualities of poultry feeds sold in Benin City, Nigeria. Poultry feed samples (starter, grower and finisher) were obtained from five stores in Benin City. Enumeration and isolation of fungi was carried out using the spread plate method on potato dextrose agar and Aspergillus flavus and parasiticus agar (AFPA). Identification of fungal isolates was based on cultural and morphological characteristics. Proximate composition was determined by standard methods. The total fungal counts of starter, grower and finisher feeds ranged from 0.10 – 8.50 x 105 sfu/g. Fungal species isolated were Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium spp., Saccharomyces spp., Trichoderma spp., Rhizopus spp. and Mucor spp. The results from proximate analysis were as follows: 36.50±0.92 - 70.92±0.51% (protein), 3.53±0.04 - 8.45±0.16% (fibre), 11.61±0.72 - 13.91±0.27% (fat), 2.70 - 8.60% (moisture content) and 3.65 - 37.83% (carbohydrate). The temperature and relative humidity of storage ranged from 33.90oC - 35.20oC and 69% - 75% respectively. Results showed that poultry feeds sampled have diverse fungi present in them. Control measures should be adhered to in poultry industries and stores to prevent microbial contamination.
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